More than 1 in 8 German working-age adults are chronically depressed, says EU

EU’s richest economy has 2nd-worst record for chronic depression in its working-age population

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2021

Facts4EU.Org reveals the depth of misery in the EU27, according to the EU Commission

We all feel down once in a while.

When this feeling is severe and it lasts, this is known as chronic depression and its effects can be debilitating on those who suffer from it. On Friday the EU Commission’s official statistics agency published its latest data on the levels of chronic depression across the EU. In the EU27 as a whole, more than 1 in 15 working-age adults were chronically depressed in 2019 – and this was before the COVID-19 crisis.

In some countries the situation is even more serious. Sweden heads the table, with nearly I in 7 affected. Right behind is the EU’s powerhouse economy, Germany, where more than 1 in 8 working-age adults were chronically depressed, pre-COVID.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

The worst 10 places in the EU where you are most likely to suffer from chronic depression

Individuals aged 15-64. Figures are rounded – see chart.

  1. Sweden (1 in 7)
  2. Germany (1 in 8)
  3. Slovenia (1 in 9)
  4. Denmark (1 in 9)
  5. Luxembourg (1 in 10)
  6. Finland (1 in 10)
  7. Portugal (1 in 10)
  8. Netherlands (1 in 11)
  9. Latvia (1 in 12)
  10. Croatia (1 in 13)

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

[Source: Eurostat official figures for 2019, published Fri 10 Sep 2021]

On a happier note…

At the other end of the scale, recent EU members Romania and Bulgaria show a much more positive picture. Romanians and Bulgarians are the least likely in the EU to suffer from chronic depression. Just 1 in 125 Romanian adults suffer from the condition, although it is of course possible that different diagnostic standards in that country have distorted this figure.

The latest pre-COVID figures available for England from NICE, quoting a MIND survey, are for 2016 and show that 3.3% of people in England suffered from depression. As these are for the total population rather than working-age individuals, this figure will be higher than it would be for working-age adults, which is what we have reported for EU27 countries.


Germany? Really?

Readers might be forgiven for wondering why Germany, the EU’s largest economy with one of the highest standards of living in the bloc, suffers from the second-highest level of chronic depression amongst working age adults. Sadly the EU Commission’s latest report offers no insight into this.

Many people will be aware that the Scandinavian countries are known to have higher levels of depression, often said to be the result of their northern latitude and lower overall levels of sunlight in the year. Strangely, the country topping the EU league table, Sweden, has a rate 60% higher than that of non-EU Norway, Sweden’s neighbour and a more northerly country.

How mindful are we?

Depression is just one of many conditions affecting people in the UK and of course throughout the EU. Mental illness in all its guises affects more people than cancer or heart disease.

Despite this, the NHS spends far less on mental health than on many of the other headline-grabbing conditions. In the last 18 months, in comparison with the Government’s expenditure on COVID-19, the monies for mental health are simply dwarfed.

Perhaps at some point a brave Minister will look critically at how the NHS spends the enormous sums thrown at it, and actually do something about it. If the Government wants to increase its falling ratings in public opinion polls, maybe a good start would be culling the large number of NHS administrators earning over £100,000 per year, with very generous benefits on top. We do not believe many of these ‘managers’ could possibly earn as much in the commercial sector.

We live in hope….

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[ Sources: EU Commission | NICE | NHS ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Mon 13 Sep 2021

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